Devotee Care Presentation Mayapur 2011
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  • 1. Presented by: Devotee Care Committee for ISKCON GBC I S K C O N
  • 2. Introduction: "It is the duty of every living being to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with his life, wealth, intelligence and words." (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 10.22.35) Çréla Prabhupäda: This is the mission of life. One's own body and the bodies of his friends and relatives, as well as one's own riches and everything else one has, should be engaged for the benefit of others. This is the mission of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu. (purport SB 6.10.10)
  • 3. Vision statement (Nourish the Plant of Devotion) Every devotee in ISKCON is to be provided with the spiritual, mental/emotional and physical care they deserve as parts and parcels of Kåñëa according to Çréla Prabhupäda's instruction and example. This should be done on the personal and institutional level.
  • 4. We strive to care for the spiritual, emotional, physical, and social well- being of the devotees of ISKCON. We want devotees to be encouraged, inspired, and empowered to be happy and made progress in Kåñëa consciousness, and thus be enthused to expand Çréla Prabhupäda’s mission Mission Statement (Water, Sun, Soil, Fertilizer)
  • 5. We assist with the overall management and facilitation of the leaders of ISKCON in taking care of devotees who have dedicated their lives to Srila Prabhupada's movement.   We believe in the power of spiritual education through Srila Prabhupada books as a key to shaping a better future for the devotees Strategic statement
  • 6. AIMS
  • 7. * We aim to give life-long personal care to devotees for them to make continued progress in spiritual life. * We aim to have care that includes personal attention to both devotees’ spiritual and material lives. Aims
  • 8. * We aim for care to be given in a brotherly and sisterly mood of compassion and love, sacrificing some of our time and pride. * We aim to assist with the overall management and facilitation of the leaders of ISKCON in taking care of devotees. Aims
  • 9. * We aim to have a mood while giving care that Kåñëa is the provider of all we lack and preserver of all we have. * We aim to define real success as the creation and maintenance of a happy, loving Vaiñëava community. * We aim for a society that recognizes the real assets as being the devotees, not physical assets. Aims
  • 10. We encourage the creation of departments and systems for caring for all areas of our devotee community including but not limited to: Care Spectrum * Temple devotees * Congregation devotees * The elderly * Families * Women * Children * Guests
  • 11. Principles Give the Essential Foundation Guidelines Help Develop Locally Appropriate Practices Practices are Examples of Guidelines in Action Systems are Examples of Comprehensive Practices To institute Devotee Care in a specific local area
  • 12. Five Principles
  • 13. Whatever we do, we do with care-the culture of care should permeate all activities The success of a project is judged by the care it provides to devotees. All forms of devotee care are acknowledged, appreciated, and awarded. Principles are global and application of those principles is local * Practices and systems of care are applied differently according to different circum-stances Five Principles
  • 14. Practical applications of devotee care should uphold Çréla Prabhupäda’s teachings and mood • All care should be favorable to the development of the spiritual life of the individual. • Çréla Prabhupäda did not compromise with the teachings of the guru parampara, and he applied them in such a way that everyone felt welcome and benefited. Five Principles
  • 15. To each according to his or her needs—devotee care is personal * Care of devotees should be given in a mature way according to the needs, interests, and concerns of the individual being helped. * Communities may choose to give care in proportion to individuals’ level of spiritual commitment Five Principles
  • 16. Servant mood - we serve to care and care to serve * Care is given in the mood of a servant * All categories of ISKCON members are worthy of being respected and valued. * An individual’s choice of care should be honored. Five Principles
  • 17. Sacrificing Spirit: Should be willing to extend themselves to help others in a spirit of sacrifice. Genuine concern (Sincerity): Should be compassionate and have a genuine concern for the welfare of all. Empathy: Should be good listeners. Important Qualifications for Care takers
  • 18. Maturity: Should be mature and sober. Friendly: Care takers should be a Krishna conscious friend and guide. Personal Care: They should be a spiritual brother or sister who can take personal care of the devotees according to their capacity. Important Qualifications for Care takers
  • 19. 1. Needs of the Soul (spiritual) 2. Needs of the mind (mental & emotional) 3. Social Care 4. Bodily needs (physical) The needs of a devotee can be divided into four categories
  • 20. Spiritual Care (Water the plant of Devotion)
  • 21. One who is Krsna conscious is a perfect yogi; he is aware of everyone's happiness and distress by dint of his own personal experience. The cause of the distress of a living entity is forgetfulness of his relationship with God. And the cause of happiness is knowing Krsna.... (BG 6.32) Spiritual Care (Water the plant of Devotion)
  • 22. The process is simple. Follow the regulative principles of devotional life undeviatingly, regularly chant 16 rounds of beads daily and without fail, read all our literatures, attend classes and aratis, go for street Sankirtana. If there are any questions, always refer them to your elder god brothers and sisters. So our method is not so difficult. Rather it is joyful. So engage yourself enthusiastically in this way and you will be happy and in the end go back to home, back to Godhead. Letter to Sukhada - London, 4 August, 1971 Spiritual Care (Water the plant of Devotion)
  • 23. 1. Database of devotees: Information on each devotee should be recorded and accessible with all the information and talents. 2. Care and Guidance: Create groups of devotees in which each devotee given guidance and cared by an advanced devotee. 3. Spiritual Education: Provide systematic education and inspiration of Srila Prabhupada books through courses Spiritual Care (Water the plant of Devotion)
  • 24. 4. Vaishnava Communities: Nurture behaviors and attitudes to create a healthy Vaiñëava community with 'unity in diversity'. 5. Committed Devotional Service: Engage both men and women in devotional service according to their interests and abilities. Spiritual Care (Water the plant of Devotion)
  • 25. 6. Devotee Care Committee at local levels: Temples should have a trained “Devotee care committee” or trained “care givers”. It is important to reach out and develop partnerships with a wide array of people who can help – mature devotees, family members, friends, psychologists, health practitioners, counselors, social workers, therapists, etc Spiritual Care (Water the plant of Devotion)
  • 26. 7. Opening One’s Heart to Superiors: Sri Suta Gosvami said: O God, although we are born in a mixed caste, we are still promoted in birthright simply by serving and following the great who are advanced in knowledge. Even by conversing with such great souls, one can without delay cleanse oneself of all disqualifications resulting from lower births. (SB 1.18.18) Spiritual Care (Water the plant of Devotion)
  • 27. Emotional Care: Sunlight for the Plant of Devotion
  • 28. Emotional care is being provided in the existing systems of spiritual development: Counseling system, Bhakti Vriksa, Nama-hatta, Different sat-sanga groups. Emotional care (care about mind) can be given through, relationship, sadacar and counseling. Emotional care expands when it comes to congregation. Example: taking care of oppressed / beaten wives Emotional Care: Sunlight for the Plant of Devotion
  • 29. 1. Care givers should be available to every devotee: Devotee counselors can be arranged to visit our devotional communities in order to offer their services to the devotees. Providing professional training for prospective counselors. These devotees need to be located and encouraged in this regard. Emotional Care: Sunlight for the Plant of Devotion
  • 30. Arrange for the care-givers to receive training from devotee specialists. Arrange for all devotees to attend seminars on aspects of emotional care Arrange for specialists to give counseling for difficult cases. Emotional Care: Sunlight for the Plant of Devotion
  • 31. 2. Acknowledge good service: During the Sunday programs make announcements appreciating the special services of devotees, in particular those that do the behind the scenes work, those who give devotee care, and those who exhibit specific Vaiñëava qualities announce any preaching news or events of the week 3. All members (even non devotees/devotionally inclined) are worthy of being respected and honored . Emotional Care: Sunlight for the Plant of Devotion
  • 32. Social Care (Fertilizer for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 33. 1. Family Oriented Social Care: Provide pre- and post-marital counseling either done by trained devotees or through recommending specific people or organizations Social Care (Fertilizer for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 34. 2. Renunciate Oriented Social Care: Provide a supportive community for maintaining renunciation Create a family atmosphere of love and trust among the renunciates: Have celebrations for milestones such as anniversary among the renunciate community. Arrange for pilgrimages or preaching programs that renunciates can do together. Social Care (Fertilizer for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 35. General Social Care 3. Individual attention: Care-givers can regularly visit the homes/äçramas of devotees to build relationships 4. Respect and engage elderly devotees accordingly, they will flourish with appropriate attention 5. Children should be valued members Social Care (Fertilizer for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 36. 6. Create opportunities for devotees to engage in service with others who are in similar situations 7. Create opportunities for devotees to engage in service with others who are in different situations 8. Nurture behaviors and attitudes to create a healthy Vaiñëava community with 'unity in diversity'. 9. Train devotees in Vaiñëava etiquette and good conduct, devotee relationships and other practical Vaiñëava life-skills Social Care (Fertilizer for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 37. 10. Arrange regular iñöagoñöhés and meetings – between senior devotees, senior devotees and newer devotees., etc 11. Encourage devotees to care for Mother Earth, who is protected by Lord Kåñëa. e.g: use of cloth bags for shopping, environmentally friendly disposable plates, or re-useable steel plates. Social Care (Fertilizer for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 38. 12. Help devotees to be ladies and gentlemen in behavior and attitudes Eg: Living as good neighbors and citizens, in local society. 13. Promote cow protection by setting up and supporting goçäläs and exposing people to the special nature of cows and our relationship with them. Social Care (Fertilizer for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 39. Physical Care (Soil for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 40. Health Care - General   1. Ensure that Devotees learn how to take good care of their health 2. Emphasize importance of exercise: A specific time when devotees can learn and practice yoga and other simple forms of exercise. Physical Care (Soil for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 41. 3. Ensure good quality Health-care is available to temple dependent devotees Annual health checks and low cost health care for temple dependent devo-tees 4. Provide a healthy diet and optimum sleep time for temple resident devotees, including a special diet during illness and convalescence. Physical Care (Soil for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 42. * Work out a healthy diet for temple-resident devotees (eg more green leafy vegetables, less oil, less white sugar, less white salt, less refined flour, milk from protected (goçälä) cows, organic vegetables, fruits, and grains). * Use filtered water and store prasädam in hygienic keep- warm containers. * Ensure devotees take meals at fixed times every day. Preferably served at 8:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 7:30 pm, in accordance with Ayurvedic recommendations. Physical Care (Soil for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 43. * Minimum of six hours sleep per day * Importance of dental hygiene (flossing teeth daily etc) * Don't allow devotees to overwork * In a large enough community, make a list of volunteers to care for devotees during illness/ convalescence (this is easy in centers where the congregation is well devel-oped using systems like Bhakti våkña or Counselor System) * During illness/ convalescence, provide special diet as per doctor's recommendations Physical Care (Soil for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 44. 5. Clean and adequate living quarters for temple residents. 6. Provide adequate housing, medical care, education for children, as well as reasonable subsistence allowance for temple-dependent gåhasthas Physical Care (Soil for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 45. 7. Give special attention to the needs of the ill, the differently- abled, women and children * Provide chairs in the temple room for devotees unable to sit on the ground. * Provide access to temple facilities for physically handicapped as per international standards * Designate a resting room for elderly visiting devotees to be used between programs on festival days. Physical Care (Soil for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 46. * Arrange for specialized dietary needs of residents/ invited guests * Provide hospice facilities for residents with terminal diseases. Temples with large organized congregations like CS/BV can develop their own, while others would use regional shared facilities. * Develop an äçrama for Vaiñëavés wherever there are ladies who wish to join the tem-ple,. Physical Care (Soil for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 47. * Provide facilities to engage children in activities if they are too young to participate in some of the temple programs. Creche facilities for infants. Toys for the very young. Games, stories, kértana, verse recitations etc for small children. * Provide a room where mothers with young children can hear the temple classes and take care of their children without disturbing others Physical Care (Soil for the Plant of Devotion)
  • 48. Visitor Care: Have comfortable facility for guests that aids devotional practices
  • 49. Hare Krishna. Samaveta bhakta-vrinda ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai ! By Devotee Care Committee for ISKCON GBC,By Devotee Care Committee for ISKCON GBC, Designed by devotees of ISKCON TirupatiDesigned by devotees of ISKCON Tirupati